Years ago, if passengers were stranded at an airport due to a canceled flight, the airline would foot the bill for their food and lodging. These days, canceled flights have turned airports into refugee camps of frustrated passengers left to fend for themselves.
Airlines are only obligated to honor promises made in their contract of carriage. The contract usually states the airline is not responsible for additional expenses that passengers incur due to a canceled flight if the cancellation was not the airline's fault.
So, when is a cancellation the airlines fault? You guessed it - hardly ever.
A few examples of when it's not their fault are: bad weather, acts of God, terrorist activities, war, strikes, any shortage of labor, fuel or facilities, and “any event not reasonably foreseen, anticipated or predicted” by the airline. Some contracts even say that “mechanical difficulties” are out of the airline's control.
Travel industry experts still advise passengers to ask airlines for accommodations if they're stranded due to a canceled flight, but more often than not, travelers are left to their own devices.
The best plan is to get travel insurance from a reputable company. With the USI Affinity's Travel Insurance Select Plus or Elite option, travelers can contact the Worldwide Assistance Center and a certified travel agent can help make emergency travel changes, such as re-booking flights.
USI Affinity offers options that meet your needs and your budget. So you can get out of the airport and on with your trip.